Rejuvenated in North Carolina!

*Note: This journal post was originally published on November 23, 2008*

Mike Poe and Josh Eggink check a hoof The first weekend in November brings about a yearly tradition for me – the North Carolina Horseshoeing Contest in Reidsville, NC.

I go to contests to challenge myself. This year in North Carolina, not only was I challenged, I was reminded that the real reason to go to these contests is to be amongst peers and friends and enjoy myself while putting my skills to the test.

I competed in three individual classes and a team draft live shoeing class. The individual classes were fairly challenging, but the big deal in Carolina is the Draft class.

My regular contest partner Corey Minnick, CJF, and I always compete together. This year, to round out our team of four, we found ourselves with two teammates that had never shod a draft horse in a competition before. Talk about a challenge!

Mike Poe holding a horse during forging contestThese two young men, Chris Rudisill and Josh Eggink (both based here in Maryland), made this year’s contest a bit more fun for me. Instead of a stressful competition, they treated it as an opportunity to learn and have fun. In doing so, they caused me to learn a bit and smile a lot.

After the final buzzer we all sat down and caught our breath. Someone had taken pictures for us and in almost every one of them you could see a huge smile on my face.